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Microsoft to Purchase Justice Department

Copyright 1998 AFP News Service
Dateline: April 1, 1998, Redmond, Washington

Today, Microsoft corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with the Justice Department in its ongoing investigations of Microsoft trade practices. In the agreement, the investigation of allegations that Microsoft violated several anti-trust statutes will cease. In return, Microsoft has agreed to acquire the Justice Department and all of its assets for an undisclosed sum.

"We were intrigued by the resolution of the Digital/Intel lawsuits." said Microsoft spokesperson Mark V. Shaney. The suit between Intel and Digital over patent violations resulted in Intel acquiring the rights to Digital's Alpha(tm) technology.

"We first tried to obtain the rights to some proprietary Justice Department technology, but when we realized that there was none, we decided that acquisition of the entire organization was the best tactic," said Shaney.

Justice Department officials could be reached for comment. However, a non-disclosure agreement prevented them from revealing any of the details of the proposed merger.

Few details of the future of the Justice Department, now renamed Microsoft Justice(tm), have been released. Microsoft engineers warned that, as with any new product, there could be incompatibilities between Microsoft Justice and the current legal system. In addition, new versions of Microsoft Justice will be announced on an annual basis, rendering all previous legal decisions and contracts null and void.

Industry reaction was widespread. Larry McNealy of Oracle Business Microsystems stated, "This deal is unfair. With Microsoft in control of Justice, there will be no room in the marketplace for competing justice-like products. The annual upgrades will make compatible products an impossibility."

"As usual, Microsoft innovates, others follow," responded Shaney.

In a related story, Microsoft Justice today announced that it is investigating the U.S. Congress for undisclosed violations. "They seem to have nothing better to do than waste the time of important people" said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. "In addition, we doubt whether such a body has a constitutional right to exist. Microsoft Justice is perfectly capable of making laws without congressional assistance." After it was determined that "Senate" referred to a ruling body in ancient Rome, Microsoft began investigating possible trademark and patent violations.

When asked if Microsoft would purchase Congress, Gates responded "How rich do you think I am?"

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